Orchestra show offers enriching symphony


Khiah (left) and Prof Ewe with event publicity posters at the press conference. — KT GOH/The Star

PENANG will be hosting the Hong Kong Chinese Orchestra, which will be performing at Dewan Tan Sri Loh Boon Siew at Tunku Abdul Rahman University of Management and Technology (TAR UMT) Penang branch in Tanjung Bungah.

Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman (UTAR) president Prof Datuk Dr Ewe Hong Tat said Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow and China’s Consul-General in Penang Zhou Yubin were expected to attend the event, which would be held in collaboration with UTAR.

The orchestra’s debut tour in Malaysia celebrates the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Malaysia and China, he said.

“We welcome sponsors such as corporate organisations to help us turn this event into a momentous and memorable show for Penang folk who will experience a splendid performance by one of the biggest ensembles of Chinese orchestra musicians.

“We are presenting Penang citizens an opportunity to enjoy world-class music that will not only entertain them but also provide an enriching cultural experience,” he said at a press conference at the Hui Yin Seh Association in Air Itam.

Prof Ewe said tickets for the Penang performance were priced at RM68, RM88, RM138 and RM228 (for premier seating).

He said those who purchased bulk tickets would enjoy additional discounts such as an extra 5% (10 to 24 tickets), extra 10% (25 to 49 tickets) and 15% (50 tickets and more).

“We are offering the tickets at these special rates to make it affordable for Penang folk as the performance will showcase the exceptional talents of the Hong Kong Chinese Orchestra (HKCO) and invite audiences to experience the beauty of Chinese musical traditions,” he said.

Those who purchased their tickets earlier for the original Dewan Sri Pinang venue will be contacted by Ticket2U. They will be given options for refunds, partial refunds or upgrades for better seating at the new venue.

Founded in 1977, HKCO is making its debut Malaysian tour with three performances planned in August.

Two performances will be at Dewan Filharmonik PETRONAS in Kuala Lumpur on Aug 3 and 4 and the third will be at Dewan Tan Sri Loh Boon Siew on Aug 7.

Joining the press conference remotely, HKCO assistant artistic director and resident conductor Chew Hee Chiat said the show was of great significance to him as Penang is his hometown.

“It gives me a great sense of pride to bring this performance to my hometown.

“I am looking forward to sharing the beauty of Chinese orchestra music with Penang folk,” said Chew who has been a Hong Kong resident for 24 years.

Chew and the orchestra members will be taken on a city tour of Penang on the eve of their performance.

“I have always shared with my colleagues about Penang’s food, its street food, the beaches, heritage, the people and most of all, our durians.

“I always tell them that Penang durians are the world’s best.”

Chew said there would be some modifications to the programme in Penang, including a reduction in the number of musicians from 90 for the Kuala Lumpur shows to 60 in Penang.

He said the two-hour performances would feature orchestra members of several nationalities, including his compatriot from Ipoh in the string section.

“Besides classic pieces, the orchestra will also perform local Malaysian tunes such as Azlan Abu Hasan’s Sinaran and P. Ramlee’s Getaran Jiwa.”

Among those present at the press conference were UTAR vice-president (student development and alumni relations) Prof Dr Choong Chee Keong and Hui Yin Seh chairman Khiah Hock Leong.

The concert is sponsored by the Hong Kong Culture, Sports and Tourism Bureau and supported by the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office, Professional Culture Centre Orchestra and Hui Yin Seh Association.

Star Media Group is a media partner of the tour.

Special discounts apply for purchases by holders of person with disability (OKU) cards.

Ticketing information is available at www.dfp.com.my and www.ticket2u.com.my or by calling 016-331 2561 (Hee) or 016-415 0325 (Lim).

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